by Mel cross posted from her blog When Cows and Kids Collide
I, Leah, grew up in Texas, the oldest of five home-educated children. I loved to play golf, tennis, and chess. I graduated from the Culinary School of Fort Worth and Thomas Edison State College with a Bachelor’s in Business Administration.
Whoa! Two people with actual college degrees.
The Culinary School of Fort Worth has accreditation through ACCET. The curriculum appears to be comparable to a certificate program through a local community college. Leah also probably completed her courses for Thomas Edison State College online – possibly through College Plus.
I worked as a reporter for a national political magazine and then at an adoption agency with young mothers-to-be in the residential program.
Later in the chapter, Leah mentions her maiden name was “Driggers”. By using my good friend Google, I found that she had bylines at WORLD magazines from 2000-2002. She covered the basic range of conservative political obsessions from sexuality to GOP coverage to home-schooling.
One of the early articles she wrote was on maternity homes. I found the article itself to be well-written, but very sad. Most of the girls interviewed were at the houses to spare their family embarrassment. It’s like reading something out of the 1950’s dragged forward into the 2000’s.
I told my parents I was looking for three things in a future husband: a man of God, a man of character and a man that commanded respect. If he sought the Lord, I could trust him when our views differed because I knew he was praying. If he had character, I’d never wonder where he was at night or what he was doing on the computer. If I respected him, honor and submission would be easier.
Clearly, her liberal arts education didn’t get her to look too deeply at her life.
- Man of God – Faith and prayer does not necessarily lead to the best decision-making skills. Case-in-point: Michael Pearl.
- Man of Character – Life brings many challenges besides worrying if your husband is having an affair. I’m more interested if Leah’s David would be brave enough to risk dissension in his church to protect the congregants from an abusive pastor. Is Leah’s David humble enough to treat Leah as a partner in marriage rather than a dependent child?
- Man that Commands Respect – Better that he earns respect through his actions in life.
Some other points Leah neglects to think about:
- Sexual attraction – Chemistry is important.
- Friendship – Marriage is better when you like your spouse. (I feel stupid writing that, but it’s so very true.)
- Compatible habits – How neat is the house? What temperature do you like the house set at? What time do you go to bed? What time do you get up at? What’s a normal vacation look like? (No one’s going to match up perfectly, but polar opposites should be aware of potential conflicts before marriage.)
- Similar goals – Do you want kids? How many? How much time will you spend with each family? What are your career goals? How important is learning to you? (I broke off a promising relationship because my boyfriend felt that once you got to a job you like, your formal and informal education should end. I literally gasped when he said that. I love to learn new things and couldn’t imagine being in a long-term relationship with someone who didn’t feel the same way. Notice – he wasn’t a bad guy or an epic mistake a la the Pearl stories. We were just poorly suited for each other. I hope he’s met and married a nice lady.) How important is traveling for fun or for career?
David was born in San Diego and moved to Texas when he was 13 years old, the second oldest of four children. He played baseball and graduated from Oral Roberts University with a degree in finance. David was looking “for a woman with a godly character that had a heart for the Lord with a strong foundation in the Word.”
Oh! So would David be willing to marry a Catholic theology major? Hm?
On another topic, all of the guys seem to be looking for a cog. A woman who just happens to be the right shape to fit into this life without changing anything at all.
I’ve seen this once or twice in person when I was dating online. Instead of asking questions to get to know the other person, you’d get a list like “Would you be willing to move to ______ to further my career?” “I want a wife who will help with my parents as they age. Would you have any problems with this?”
I never bothered replying to those types. I’m far too interesting to subjugate my entire life to a self-important spouse.
A lot of the girls I met had no substance or character. I would ask them questions about the Bible and marriage roles, but their answers were light and shallow.
Flashback from college! I went to a fairly liberal, small Catholic college. While there, I met the super-conservatives through a roommate. They were nice folks and gave me a good chance to argue with their more insane ideas.
For women who don’t like a good heated discussion, there’s always another option. Be flighty. Refuse to answer the question. Be shallow. Eventually, the other person will get fed up and leave.
But I digress: Wasn’t David so busy running after the Lord that he didn’t have time to look left or right?
Although many loved the Lord, they didn’t know the Bible well and had little moral fiber. It seemed they had no strong, secure relationship in the Lord.
I have no idea how David was scoring a woman’s relationship with the Lord. I assume there is a rubric somewhere on line…..
I wanted a girl that was so steadfastly grounded in the Lord that she would continue to seek Him even if the relationship didn’t work out.
Not your problem or your business, David. You are very nosy, FYI.
I wanted a girl that had built character through turning toward the Lord through trials. I also watched to see if she respected her father.
What if her father isn’t worth the respect? Can you twist your head around that one, David?
[David launches into a boring sermon on trusting in God. Forgive my refusal to inflict it on you.]
Also, you must not try and compare your past, failed relationships to what God may have for you in the future. Even if you’ve experienced unsuccessful relationships, you shouldn’t become cynical about future relationships. When you find the right one, there will be a peace.
Good save, David. This is the first time anyone in this book implies that people can have more than one romantic relationship and not be totally ruined.
Of course, that topic was covered much more thoroughly in Jane Austen’s “Sense and Sensibility” which was published in 1811.
Yes, we are rehashing an argument from over 200 years ago.
Although Leah was beautiful and attractive, the biggest draw for me was finding out that we shared a common passion for the Lord and that we both had a strong, personal relationship with Him. She knew all the Vacation Bible School songs I grew up with – and the Bible stories.
I’m sure this is a result of a poor editing choice – but I LOVE the idea that David was looking for the depth of a woman’s relationship with the Lord based on her memory of VBS songs.
She was grounded in the Word and more importantly, you could tell she had built character and faith from years of walking with God as a single woman. She had truly established a strong relationship with God.”
Got it. Leah knows God; David knows God; marriage will ensue.
AntiPearl:“Colonel Brandon was now as happy, as all those who best loved him, believed he deserved to be;—in Marianne he was consoled for every past affliction;—her regard and her society restored his mind to animation, and his spirits to cheerfulness; and that Marianne found her own happiness in forming his, was equally the persuasion and delight of each observing friend. Marianne could never love by halves; and her whole heart became, in time, as much devoted to her husband, as it had once been to Willoughby.”
― Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility
Mel is a science teacher who works with at-risk teens and lives on a dairy farm with her husband. She blogs at When Cows and Kids Collide